Seafood labeling strikes political hurdle
A bid in the Federal Senate to change country of origin seafood labelling laws for seafood is expected to run into roadblocks.
Independent South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon has tabled a private member’s bill that would require all takeaways and restaurants label what country their seafood has come from.
The bill looks to be in danger with moves instead to direct the issue to states and territories through the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation.
Existing trade deals with New Zealand could also be impacted and this would require intergovernmental negotiations.
Similar labelling laws to those which Senator Xenophon is trying to introduce have existed in the Northern Territory since 2011. Supermarkets and retailers elsewhere in Australia only have to list the origin of seafood if it is uncooked.
In April 2015 groups including Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) formed an alliance to lobby for country of origin laws.
Since December 2014 countries in the European Union have been forced to state exactly where and how their seafood is caught.
In the USA seafood must be labelled by its scientific or common name so consumers do not think they are buying wild fish when they have been raised in farm settings.
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